PHOENIX (AP) — The Jodi Arias legal saga has dragged on for nearly seven years and had no shortage of eye-catching moments. It started with a gruesome killing, continued with a series of bizarre post-arrest interviews by Arias, and became a full-blown sensation during a more than four-month trial.
Police officers who fatally shot a Mexican farm worker in Washington state after he pelted them with rocks fired 17 shots, striking him five or six times, police said on Wednesday, an incident captured on video that has fueled protests. Antonio Zambrano-Montes, 35, an unemployed orchard worker from Mexico's Michoacan state, was killed earlier this month in Pasco, a city of some 68,000 residents in Washington state's agricultural heartland, after he threw rocks at officers and tried to flee. Police said Zambrano-Montes pelted officers with rocks and ignored commands to surrender before the shooting, and that a stun gun failed to subdue him. Kennewick Police Sergeant Ken Lattin, a spokesman for a special unit investigating the case, told reporters on Wednesday that all three of the officers involved in the incident fired their weapons.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Reuters) - A recent contestant on "America's Next Top Model" was killed in a triple slaying in Charlotte, North Carolina, police and the reality show's producers said on Wednesday. Police said Mirjana Puhar, 19, was among three people whose bodies were found in a home Tuesday evening. Emmanuel Jesus Rangel, 19, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with three counts of murder, Charlotte police said in a statement. It appears the incident was drug-related and that the victims and suspect knew one another, police said.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Bail was set at $40,000 for a 29-year-old single mother ahead of a March 11 preliminary hearing on felony charges after her four dogs mauled two neighbors, including a woman whose arms were nearly ripped off, authorities said Wednesday.
A proposed bill to give Puerto Rico's ailing public agencies a way to restructure debts under U.S. bankruptcy law is a "Wild West" solution that would likely hurt bondholders, an adviser for major investors argued in written testimony ahead of a key congressional committee. The bill to give Puerto Rico's agencies the ability to file under Chapter 9 of the U.S. bankruptcy code - used by cities such as Detroit, Michigan, and Stockton, California - was proposed by the U.S. territory's representative to Congress, Democrat Pedro Pierluisi. "Use of Chapter 9 by any of Puerto Rico's public corporations will cause more harm than good, for both millions of Americans who invested in Puerto Rico bonds and for the Commonwealth," according to testimony from Thomas Mayer, a partner at Kramer Levin. Mayer represents funds managed by Franklin Municipal Bond Group and OppenheimerFunds Inc in respect to their investment in $1.6 billion of bonds issued by Puerto Rico's electric utility, PREPA.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A former defense contractor accused of sending sensitive information about U.S. military jet programs to his native Iran in an effort to land a job there pleaded guilty on Wednesday.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Lawmakers are again shipping Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin a bill that bans abortion after 20 weeks, despite his veto of a similar proposal last year.
MIAMI (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to lift a stay of execution of a convicted Florida quadruple-murderer while the justices review the drug mixture used in lethal injections.
By Dana Feldman VENTURA, Calif. (Reuters) - A lawyer for the driver whose truck was hit by a California commuter train in a wreck that injured 50 people said on Wednesday the crash was an accident and that his client left the scene only to try to find help. Jose Alejandro Sanchez-Ramirez, 54, was found walking and "in distress" more than a mile from the accident on Tuesday and was later taken into custody on suspicion of felony hit-and-run for leaving the scene. Ventura County prosecutors said they expected to file formal charges against Sanchez-Ramirez on Thursday before his initial court appearance. Ron Bamieh, an attorney for Sanchez-Ramirez, told a news conference on Wednesday: "What we've found in the time we've had this case is that this was an accident, all this was an accident." Bamieh confirmed his client had been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in 1998 but said there was no indication he was intoxicated at the time of the rail crash.
By Richard Weizel MILFORD, Conn. (Reuters) - A convicted Connecticut drug dealer was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison for a 2011 fire set in retaliation for a small drug debt that killed three members of a family, including an 8-year-old boy. Hector Natal, 29, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton two years after he was convicted of the March 2011 arson that killed 41-year-old Wanda Roberson, her 8-year-old son, Quayshaun Roberson, and her 21-year-old niece, Jaqueeta Roberson. "Hector Natal set fire to his neighbors' home knowing that two large families, which included older women and young children, were inside," said Deirdre Daly, U.S. attorney for Connecticut.
The largest U.S. refinery strike since 1980 continued through its 25th day on Wednesday with no movement toward renewed talks to end a walkout by 6,550 union workers at 15 plants, including 12 refineries accounting for one-fifth of domestic capacity. A spokesman for lead refinery owner representative Shell Oil Co, the U.S. arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, said no face-to-face meetings have been scheduled with the United Steelworkers union (USW) as of Wednesday. Talks for a new three-year contract covering 30,000 USW members at refineries and chemical plants broke off on Friday, after which the USW ordered strikes at three Motiva Enterprises refineries, which are co-owned by Shell. Talks on local issues are set to begin again on Friday between LyondellBasell and the USW local union representing workers at the company's Houston refinery, said sources close to the negotiations.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization on Wednesday urged Tennessee Republican leaders to repudiate what they consider a racist Facebook post by a GOP state lawmaker.
The former head of Mississippi's prison system pleaded guilty on Wednesday to federal charges stemming from allegations that he accepted bribes from a businessman who held large-scale prison contracts, prosecutors and a defense lawyer said. Christopher Epps, who resigned in November as head of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, and codefendant Cecil McCrory, a businessman and former state lawmaker, each pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy, prosecutors said. In exchange for Epps' guilty plea, the other 38 counts with which he had been charged will be dropped, said John Colette, his attorney.
DENVER (AP) — The case of an 87-year-old Alzheimer's patient accused in the deadly beating of a fellow assisted living resident highlights the challenges of prosecuting someone with the unpredictable mental disease, experts and lawmakers say.
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) — Police say four Wesleyan University students arrested this week after about a dozen people who took the party drug Molly were hospitalized are known on campus as drug dealers.
Investigators say the wife of a prominent New Jersey hospital executive died last year from a stab wound.
Nearly three dozen people have been arrested in the Philadelphia area in connection with a drug ring that had ties to Colombia.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Studies of baby animals have long suggested that going under anesthesia can have some harmful effects on a developing brain. Now some scientists want to find out whether those same drugs may pose subtle risks for human babies and toddlers.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia jury has convicted a longtime fugitive of murder for killing his wife's best friend in a crowded restaurant on Father's Day 1992.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Members of Congress have called for more aggressive federal action to prevent toxic algae from contaminating the Great Lakes and other waterways around the nation, such as an outbreak on Lake Erie last summer that left more than 400,000 people without safe tap water for two days.